Samsung Electronics has won the title of world's top smartphone maker, with its current line outselling Apple's iPhone, the two companies' quarterly financial statements show.

Samsung' smartphone shipments grew by 44 per cent during the July-September quarter, market researcher Strategy Analytics reported. The company went on to forecast strong financial forecasts for the next quarter, indicating a belief that it will retain the crown for at least the next four months.

"In the handset division, Samsung has no real rival models to challenge its products except for the iPhone 4S. Apple and Samsung will continue to dominate the market in the fourth quarter," Kim Hyun-joong, a fund manager at Midas Asset Management, which owns Samsung shares, told Reuters.

"I am cautiously optimistic on the fourth quarter outlook at this point," Robert Yi, head of Samsung's investor relations, later added.

"Looking ahead into the fourth quarter, when industry demand is traditionally at its peak, Samsung expects sales of mobile devices to remain strong and flat-panel TV shipments to increase."

The news comes after Samsung announced a doubling in its telecoms division's profits over those taken in the previous year. The telecoms division was listed as taking in 2.5 trillion won (£1.4 billion), meaning that its earnings accounted for 60 per cent of Samsung's total profit

The news of Samsung's growth came alongside reports of a marked decrease in Apple iPhone sales. According to a report from Reuters, Apple only managed to shift 17.1 million units during the quarter, marking a 16 per cent decrease in units sold.

As a result, Samsung managed to control 23.8 per cent of the smartphone market, while Apple only held around 16 per cent.

Analysts have been quick to point out it will be a challenge for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple smartphone giant to retain its crown as the world's leading smartphone maker. The looming promise of a new iPhone by Apple was highlighted as a key factor that led to the dramatic drop in sales of the company's iPhone 4.

With the new iPhone 4S out, researchers and critics suggest that Samsung's ability to retain the title is tied to the ability of its forthcoming high-end Galaxy Nexus device to compete with the already record-breaking Apple smartphone.

Apple shares appear likely to fall slightly from Thursday's close of $404.69.